I get very excited when I get invited to a wedding. I'm a typical romantic who gets caught up in the emotion of it all. I can't get enough of the bloody things.
But despite my love of people tying the knot and saying 'I do', weddings also involve one of my biggest bugbears.
Let's start from the beginning. Your friend gets engaged and you're buzzing with the romance of it all. You can't wait for the big day and all that it brings - what will you wear? Who will you see? Which bridesmaid will sleep with the best man? Who will be the drunkest person there?
These questions always go through my mind - up until the day I get the invitation through the door, followed the inevitable plea for cash in lieu of a wedding gift.
Yes that's right, I hate cash presents. They are lazy, lack imagination and, in my opinion, it's actually a little rude to ask.
During the summer season it's rare for me to go two weekends without going to a wedding, a hen party or an engagement party. I'm the girl who gets teary during the ceremony and is then spotted swinging around the dance floor before doing shots with the groom's uncles. I invest a lot of time and energy in the weddings I attend in the hope that one day the lovely newlyweds will do the same for me when my boyfriend eventually pops the question.
I know the days of giving a toaster or a microwave are long gone, but I can't for the life of me understand why I should pay for someone else's honeymoon or mortgage. I've been asked to contribute to both over the years and at first I thought it was a one off. Instead, it's becoming more common.
My heart sinks the moment I see the note asking for money. In my mind, they tend to go a little something like this: "The most important thing on the day will be having you there, but give us some cash instead of a gift."
If a couple spends thousands of pounds on their big day, surely they should factor things like the honeymoon into the costs, or at least reconsider asking a hundred people to join them for a £40-a-head three course meal.
The same goes for the house deposits or mortgage repayments. They've got to be the least romantic presents ever.
Friends and family who plan to tie the knot in the future, please don't ask me for cash - I'd rather put the money towards a gift I've put thought and creativity into instead.
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